Posts Tagged ‘buy a house’

The Real Estate Market in Harrisburg PA: The New Normal…

The Real Estate Market in Harrisburg PA: The New Normal…

 

The real estate market conditions in the greater Harrisburg – Hershey area have been a bit confusing over the past six months. Depending on the day, you may see one report that shows the market going up and another that shows the market is heading down. I can imagine you are sitting back wishing we could all get our stories to line up together.

I want to share some important information about the real estate market that I think is misunderstood by the consumer as well as the real estate agents themselves.

Let me start off with some basic facts:

– The market remains to be very active

– Real Estate prices have stabilized

– Average Days on Market is still reasonable

Additional information you will find interesting:

– We have seen a “steady” trend in the amount of monthly sales transactions over the last 6 months. Values are not increasing to speak of; yet they are no longer decreasing.

– We have seen interest rates increase slightly on people with less than perfect credit.

– We are seeing a slow-down in new construction sales

– We are noticing builder discounts and incentives being advertised to get rid of standing inventory.
So, what is really happening in our market?

This is the question that everyone is asking yet very few people want to answer. The answer is not a simple statement. The answer requires a much longer explanation than you would care to read in this email. I have answered these questions dozens of times for my clients and I am happy to answer your questions as well. I can share in detail what I see and why this may be the ‘New Normal’.

 

If there is anything else that I can do for you, please let me know. I will continue to be your South Central PA Real Estate Resource. I know you have the choice to work with thousands of real estate agents yet I am the ONE Agent that is trying to keep you informed about your business. Let me know what I can do help you.

 

Your Agent Today, Your Agent for Life…
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The Homebuyer’s Guide to New Homes

10 TIPS TO SAVE YOU

MONEY and TIME –


The Homebuyer’s Guide to New Homes

“…read This BEFORE You Visit Your First Model Home!”


When shopping for your home, you’ll discover that most homes on the market are resales. Yet, one out of four homebuyers purchases a new home. Both new homes and resales offer advantages. Before you make a decision…

Compare These Points!

New Homes

  • offer innovative use of space and style
  • greater energy efficiency
  • a choice of options and upgrades
  • everything is new, and modern.

Existing Homes

  • on the average they are less expensive
  • often they are in established neighborhoods with mature landscaping
  • homes have already settled, eliminating possible problems that arise from this happening after the purchase of home

As you can see, there are advantages to both. Most people consider both new and existing homes before they decide to purchase. Should you be thinking about buying a new house, here are 10 points to consider before you visit your first model home.

1. Determine a Comfortable Price Range

Before you visit your first model home, sit down with your agent and do your homework. You’ll want to be prepared so that you can determine a comfortable price range for your new home.  If you own a home, you’ll first need to know the net proceeds from its sale in order to determine how much cash you’ll have to work with. Don’t simply estimate this but carefully calculate every possible selling cost. If you’re a first time buyer, you’ll need to first qualify your income. Determine the size of your down payment, then work out a monthly debt load so you can determine a comfortable price range.

2. A Builder For All Reasons

Like all tradesmen, builders vary in their fields of expertise. For example there are builders who specialize in craftsmanship, others who are known for their innovative use of space, and those who offer below-market financing or customer attention during construction and after move-in. Determine your own specific needs or preferences then shop around for a builder that will best address your requirements.

3. Get the Facts About Your Builder

Before making a final decision, it is wise to check out the reputation and financial strength of the builder. Get “spec sheets” on home features covering everything from floor plans to energy efficiency, including lot availability and delivery of your home.

4. Check Out the Neighborhood

  • Learn as much as you can about the community.
  • Discover what amenities it has to offer.
  • Investigate if financial reserves have been set aside to build or replace major amenities like schools or community roads
  • Find out from local land-use officials what else is planned or could be constructed in the area, especially where vacant land is applicable.
  • Review the rules for the homeowner’s association, or find out if one will be set up.
  • Think of how you will be affected by commuting routes and times.

5. Choosing Options and Upgrades

The less expensive the base price of the house is, the more options and upgrades you can add without fear of overpricing it for the neighborhood. Options are items the builder installs during construction, such as adding usable space like a sunroom or a powder room. These features can add the most to the resale value of your home. Upgrading means selecting quality above “builder standard” such as carpeting, ceramics, detailing, kitchen fixtures and appliances. Be sure to take advantage of builder incentives that offer free upgrades or credit off the sale price. Remember, you can add a deck, finished basement or landscaping later and sometimes for less money.

6. Negotiations

Some builders will not negotiate..which in my opinion gives them credibility. They do for one what they do for another, which I believe is the most fair approach to their sales. However, with other builders there may be room for negotiating price, upgrades, or options. For example, you have some leverage for negotiating with the builder if he has a completed a home but hasn’t sold it. Also some “premium lots” are priced higher and are sometimes saved to be sold last. Keep in mind that typically, all lots cost the builder the same, so be sure to enquire about lot pricing. Builders may offer discounts or special financing to help close a sale.

7. Be Sure the Contract Works in Your Favor!

When spelling out the particulars of an agreement with your builder, ensure you protect yourself by having safeguards written into the agreement, such as:

  • can you place your deposit in escrow? (some deposits go directly to the builder to allow them to start building)
  • detailing your upgrades;
  • allowing you access to the construction site to check on progress;
  • a 30-day advance notice of the closing date.
  • an explanation of what the fine print means in the warranties of the builder and manufacturer.

New Construction In Harrisburg, PA - Village Glen

8. Financing – What’s Best for You?

Some builders, especially in high-volume communities that place large numbers of loans, can offer special financing packages. However, because “home loan” lending is highly competitive, you have many financing choices other than those being offered by the builder. Shop around for everything, from rates to lender fees. Appraisals, inspections, surveys, attorneys and closing fees can vary as well.

9. Just Because it’s New…. – Doesn’t Mean it’s Perfect

Yes it’s new and typically it’s built with modern materials that are durable, low maintenance, stronger, quieter, and safer. But because nothing is perfect, even if it’s new, consider hiring a reputable, licensed home inspector. Most builders will not allow your contract to be contingent upon this inspection, but  you could create a builder “punch list” from what you’ve learned to address any problems before closing.

 10. Buyer Advantages Your Builder May Not Reveal!

Here’s a fact that you may not be aware of, some builders have newly-constructed homes available for immediate delivery. Usually these homes are ready to move into within 30 days. Even if some builders are eager to sell, they’ll probably keep that knowledge to themselves. Immediate delivery homes are often available for various reasons:

  • the community, where new homes are being constructed is nearly complete, so the builder proceeds to have the on-site-contractors build “spec” homes (homes built on speculation for sale) on the last lots;
  • the model home is for sale;
  • the contract on a home has fallen through;
  • builders include constructing homes for immediate delivery for buyers who are relocating or who have sold their previous home and need one to move into quickly.

Immediate delivery homes may be more desirable because, sometimes builders offer financing incentives or free options. This may be done in place of chopping prices to appeal to buyers purchasing later in the building phase. An immediate delivery home is an advantageous way to purchase a home if you need to move in quickly, or need a physical space to walk through and see before you sign a contract. Be sure to inquire.

For a FREE No Obligation list of New Home Communities in your Area and Price Range click here!

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793                                               Email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA – Why Days on Market Matters

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA –  Why Days on Market Matters

 

One of the first questions buyers ask me when considering how to buy a house, occurs when I hold an open house. They want to know its days on market. One of the first things a buyer asks about a listing is its days on market. Days on market matter when you’re on the hunt to learn how to buy a house.

How to Buy a House – Do Average Days on Market Matter?

Which is more important? The “average days” on market or the “number of days” on market of each listing? If you’re a buyer, of course, it’s the home you want to buy that matters when thinking about how to buy a house.  If you’re a seller whose home has been on the market for 60 days, you want to know how long it is taking homes like yours to sell.

How to Buy a House – How Buyers Look at Days on Market

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When buyers see extensive days on market, they figure the seller is desperate to sell because the home is still on the market. Buyers also believe there might be something wrong with the home that caused other buyers to pass it up. Both of those assumptions, however, can be wrong.

How to Buy a House – Homes can Linger on the Market for the following Reasons:

  • The common reason is overpricing.
    The agent may have “bought” the listing by misleading the seller into believing the home was worth more than the market will bear. It’s not unusual for an agent to deliberately take an overpriced listing.
  • Little seller motivation.
    Sometimes sellers want to “test the market” by pricing too high, just to see if they can find a fool to pay that price. It’s known as a seller’s worst mistake.
  • Stubbornness.
    Sellers could be stuck on the price and willing to wait out the market until the market catches up to the asking price.
  • Down real estate market.
    In buyer’s markets, it can take longer to sell a home than in seller’s markets. A home that would sell in five days in a seller’s market might sell in 120+ days in a down real estate market.
  • Unavailable to show.
    If the property is tenant occupied, it might be difficult to obtain an appointment from the tenant. In most cases, homes with a lockbox get shown more often than those without.
  • Unsuitable to show.
    Sometimes sellers put homes on the market before they are ready to let buyers see it. They might be finishing resale repairs or painting during the first 30 to 60 days of a listing.
  • Reduced commission.
    Although buying agents are required to show all listings, many agents refuse to show homes that don’t pay the same commission as competing homes. Often these homes are listed by discount brokers.
  • Little Internet or MLS exposure.
    If the home has one photograph in MLS, buyers are likely to pass on the listing and instead choose homes to see that have multiple photographs.

How to Buy a House – Finding Out the Cumulative Days on Market

Some MLS systems refuse to let agents withdraw a listing and enter it as a new listing without first canceling or expiring the listing. In either case, it is relatively easy for an agent to determine the number of days on market; it’s not so easy for a buyer.

  • Check Listing History.
    One way is to enter the address of the property into MLS to find duplicate, expired or withdrawn listings. In the Sacramento MLS, this is known as pulling the “history” of the property.
  • Look for Cumulative DOM.
    Some MLS have changed the way listings are reported and will include cumulative days on market in the listing itself.
  • Ask Your Agent.
    If you are working with a neighborhood specialist, your agent will have a fairly good idea if the home has been listed before, for how long and by whom.
  • Ask the Listing Agent.
    Since real estate agents cannot misrepresent a property, you might ask the listing agent a direct question. Do not ask how long the home has been on the market because there might have been a price reduction, so the agent will feel justified in telling you the days on market at the new price. Ask if it has expired / withdrawn / canceled and then relisted. Be specific.
  • Search Online.
    Enter the property address several different ways into a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. All of its previous online listings should pop up.
  • Ask Neighbors.
    Neighbors know everything that goes on in their area and often are more than happy to tell you how long a home has been on the market.

 

When thinking about how to buy a house, buyers figure the longer a home has been on the market, the more eager a seller is to sell. If the seller is eager to sell, the seller might be willing to negotiate a much lower price. So, you can see how this piece of knowledge is useful to buyers.

 

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793                       Email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

 

 

 

 

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA- Step 7 – Home Purchase Negotiation

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA  – Step 7 –

Home Purchase Negotiation  

When considering how to buy a house, here are ten important questions you should ask and why you should ask them.

 

 

How to Buy a House - Home Purchase Negotiation

 

Property Specific Considerations in How to Buy a House:

1. HOW LONG HAS THE PROPERTY BEEN ON THE MARKET?

Why: The length of time a property has been on the market may indicate the seller’s willingness to negotiate.

2. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY PRICE REDUCTIONS DURING THE LISTING   PERIOD?

Why: The amount of any price reduction, as it relates to the overall purchase price, may indicate the seller’s desire to attract an offer.

3. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY OTHER OFFERS ON THE PROPERTY?

Why: It will be helpful to know what offers have been turned down and for what reasons.

4. WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION OF THE SELLER?

Why: Motivation is a key element in any negotiation. As an example, if the seller has already purchased a new property, your ability to close quickly may be an attractive element of the negotiation.

5. WHAT PERSONAL ITEMS ARE INCLUDED IN THE SALE?

Why: Anything the seller is willing to leave behind that you won’t need to buy when you move in has real value. Consider those items in your offer

.

 

Neighborhood Specific considerations in how to buy a house:

1. WHAT IS THE PRICE RANGE OF SOLD PROPERTIES IN THE AREA?

Why: This information is important since it will indicate the top and bottom of that specific market.

2. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TIME ON THE MARKET FOR PROPERTIES IN THIS AREA?

Why: Short market times may indicate a seller’s market. If this is the case, you may face competition from other buyers.

3. WHAT IS THE LIST-TO-SALE PRICE RATIO IN THIS AREA?

Why: This information will indicate sellers’ past willingness to negotiate and by how much.

4. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT OF RECENTLY SOLD PROPERTIES?

Why: This approach to establish value works best where there are similar homes, lot sizes and improvements.

5. WHAT OTHER FACTORS ABOUT THE PROPERTY and/or  NEIGHBORHOOD COULD AFFECT VALUE?

 Why: The Sellers Disclosure must be reviewed to determine if there are items that could affect value before thinking of how to buy a house.

Final Recommendation for how to buy a house – home purchase negotiation: Determing your offer price when learning how to buy a house is a crucial detail. Each of these factors can suggest how much you want to spend for a particular property. How much is this house worth to you? Review the Seller’s Disclosure Statement very carefully. If you will be financing the property, get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to making your offer. This will show the seller your commitment and ability to perform. Once we know what other homes have sold for in the area, and the intricate details of the home, I will advise you on where to beging our negotiations for you to buy a house. Call me to be personally represented in your home purchase. 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesales.com

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

How to Buy a House – Step 6 – Planning For Home Maintenance Costs

How to Buy a House – Step 6 – Planning For Home Maintenance Costs   You don’t think about future maintenance costs when considering how to buy a house, but you should. Whether buying an older home or a newly constructed home, equipment can be faulty and costly to repair.

When learning how to buy a house, usually a home’s purchase price can be used to project maintenance costs. The recommendations for annual maintenance costs range from 1.5 to 4 percent of the home’s original cost. While this is not always true, especially when the purchase price of a home is three-quarters of a million dollars, it is a good rule of thumb for the average home buyer when contemplating how to buy a house

How to Buy a House - Home Maintenance Costs

 

Since most home buyers are focusing on making the down payment and not saving for future repairs, a home warranty provides a good back-up plan when keepin your checklist on how to buy a house.

 

A Home Warranty will cover many major home systems and built-in appliances for one full year after closing. A home warranty will pay to either repair or replace a covered item, and the homeowner pays a minimal deductible rather than the full cost of repairs. It’s an easy way to manage your home’s finances and plan for those unexpected repairs.

 

To learn more about managing home maintenance costs and how to buy a house, contact me at 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesales.com

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

What Every First Time Home Buyer in Harrisburg PA Should Know

What Every First Time Home Buyer in Harrisburg PA Should Know  Buying a home is one of the largest financial commitments a person can make in his or her lifetime. It’s especially critical for first-time home buyers to make informed decisions about the investment that they are about to make.

 

As a Real Estate Professional I offer these tips to first-time homebuyers to help make the process easier.

 

Define your wants versus your needs.

Making a list of wants and needs before beginning the search for a home can make the entire process less overwhelming and more enjoyable for first time buyers.

 

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

It is critical that a first time buyer be pre-approved for a mortgage before going too far in the home-buying process. This enables the buyer to make a very appealing offer to the seller and increases the buyer’s chances of having his or her offer accepted.

First Time Home Buyers on Moving Day

 

Investigate the neighborhood.

Where are the schools? How far is the nearest hospital or grocery store? Is commercial garbage collection available, or do homeowners dispose of their own trash? These are basic yet important questions that some first time buyers may not think of until after closing on a property.

 

Insist on a home inspection.

Attend property inspections. Be aware of environmental concerns, and ask questions.

 

Get help with the details.

Coordinating these and the many details of a move can be overwhelming for even the most experienced homebuyer. I can help guide you through the process and even coordinate related services. Contact me to represent you through the entire first time home buyers process. 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesales.com

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

Caught In Between Selling and Buying a Home in Harrisburg PA?

Caught In Between Selling and Buying a Home?

 

Sometimes selling a home and buying a new one can be a difficult balancing act, as a homebuyer often cannot place an offer on an attractive home and sell the current one simultaneously. These homebuyers and sellers get “caught in between.” Below are some tips on how to close that time gap between buying and selling a home.

 

Consider bridge loans. A bridge loan means borrowing from the current home’s equity until the proceeds from its sale are obtained. Some bridge loans require that only the interest be repaid; others mandate a single payment of interest and principal when the loan needs to be paid back. If protracted, bridge loans can be expensive, so it is best to use them for overlaps of a short period of time between closings.

 

Buy on contingency.Have a prior-sale contingency included in the purchase contract of the new home. It provides the opportunity to withdraw from an offer if the current home does not sell by a certain date.

 

Evaluate whether to buy or sell first.You might still get “caught in between” even with a prior-sale contingency clause. Homeowners must consider which is better to do first. In a “seller’s market,” locating the new home and starting the buying process may be the best approach. It is important to note that most people need to sell their current home in order to qualify for a loan to buy the next one, which is often more expensive.

 

Review home equity options.For those who need to borrow for a longer period than just a few months, it is best to use a home equity loan or a fixed-rate line of credit, particularly if sizable equity has been built up.

Contact me now to help you bridge the gap. 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesles.com

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

 

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  He is a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

 

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by http://www.KensHomesales.com